THE Premiership title could have been seen as a culmination for James Tavernier. This isn't the end, though, it is only the beginning.

When the Rangers captain holds aloft the silverware next month, there are few players to whom the moment will mean more as Steven Gerrard's side are crowned as champions.

Tavernier has been at the depths of despair during his Rangers career but now he is on the ultimate high. It is an achievement he is right to cherish but not one that will see him rest on his laurels.

His commitment to the cause has rarely been questioned over the last six seasons. That has now been reaffirmed once again after he agreed an extension to his contract that will keep him at Ibrox until the summer of 2024.

Tavernier's first seasons with Rangers only offered false dawns and crushing disappointments. Now he is looking to a brighter and even more successful future as the leader of Gerrard's side.

“It was quite easy," Tavernier said when asked about the new deal that was announced on Tuesday afternoon. "I started this journey nearly six years ago and it has been a journey that has had its ups and downs.

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“We finally came to that 55th title and I believe that is just the start of it. I want to push on and win more trophies for this club.

“I think it is just the start of it, the start of what is to come. This club has come through so much, the changes that have been occurring behind the scenes and the improvements that have been happening behind the scenes.

"We have got the full backing of the board and the supporters and it feels like this is the start of something special for the club.

“I think it will be a surreal moment when it comes to May 15 but it has been some journey to come through the years and the struggles that we have had.

“We are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we are in a great place and we have got another cup to go for before the end of the season.”

When Tavernier made the move to Ibrox from Wigan during Mark Warburton's first summer in charge, he was tasked with helping Rangers win promotion from the Championship. Now he has his sights set on the Champions League.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard celebrates with James Tavernier at full time during the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox

That is the reward for Rangers' efforts this season and another chance to improve and impress but it is not the immediate focus for Gerrard, his staff and his players.

This historic season is far from finished yet. An unbeaten league campaign is a realistic aim, while a Scottish Cup medal would be the perfect way to end a remarkable campaign.

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard's show of ambition belief after James Tavernier agrees new Rangers deal

Tavernier said: “It is the best team that I have played with and I am sure the board and the gaffer will be looking to improve the team in the areas that we need to.

“I am really excited and I know the boys are really excited to push on with Champions League qualifiers next season.

"That is always something you dream of when you walk out to that music. I can’t wait to lead the boys out doing that.

HeraldScotland: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Joe Aribo of Rangers celebrates with teammate James Tavernier after scoring their team's first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on January 02, 2021 in Glas

“I can’t wait to get back fit and I am not too far away. The boys have got a tough game this weekend against Hibs and then we will have a strong opposition against Celtic when we meet them in the cup.

“We are looking to finish off the season like we started, really strong and hopefully we can add more silverware. That is our aim.

“It has been a long time, it has been six years but it has made me who I am today and given me great experience from the journey. I have seen the players that have come and gone, the managers that have come and gone and learned a lot of things from that, of course.

HeraldScotland: Rangers' James Tavernier (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Scottish Premiership match at Tannadice Park

“The one thing is that the fans have always stuck by us and credit to them. You will never see any supporters like that around the world.

“It is absolutely amazing what they give to the team and myself and this is the start of something special for this club where we are at now. It is not the end, it is the start of something and I can’t wait.”

The injury Tavernier sustained against Royal Antwerp in February has kept him sidelined for several weeks now but it won't deny him the chance to take to the field once again before the end of the campaign.

Trophy day at Ibrox will arguably be the highlight of his career, never mind his time with Rangers. It will be a moment to savour and one which will serve to inspire Tavernier and those around him.

“On May 15 it will really hit home what we have achieved and hopefully we can have the fans into the stadium so they can enjoy it with us,” Tavernier told RangersTV.

“You have that little taste of success and you just want more and more and the Scottish Cup we are in it to win it.

“You want to constantly win more trophies and it was an easy decision when the club offered me an extension.

“I have still got unfinished business, there are cups there that I want to win and I am lucky to stay.

“I said it from the very start when Mark Warburton brought me through the doors that it was the first club that gave me a foundation and a platform to play football and I have enjoyed it ever since.

“There have been ups and downs through that but this club has given me the chance to showcase what I’m about and I will continue giving back to the club and the fans everything that I have got.

“It is the start of something and I can’t wait to get back out there, put on the jersey again and keep performing well."